Rights without remedy: the disconnection of labour across multiple scales and domains

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  • 1 University of Greenwich, , UK
  • | 2 University of Leicester, , UK
  • | 3 Cardiff University, , UK
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This article examines the disconnection between promises of labour rights made at the international level and their inaccessibility to workers at the local level. Going beyond the concept of a global ‘governance gap’, it draws on a political economy perspective and focuses on the intersecting and competing roles of different forms of capital and the state, in curtailing workers’ paths to remedy in the global apparel (garment) value chain. A longitudinal case study of a campaign by Turkish garment workers, seeking remedy for lost earnings and severance payments due factory closure and wage theft, is the focus for analysis. The workplace is conceptualised as a key ‘arena of disarticulation’ in the apparel value chain, central in simultaneously embedding and dis-embedding commitments by brands, the state and employers, such that even wages for work done may be denied to workers with relative impunity. The article considers to what extent promises made in abstraction at the international level can hope to guarantee conditions at workplace level.

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  • 1 University of Greenwich, , UK
  • | 2 University of Leicester, , UK
  • | 3 Cardiff University, , UK

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